Well, sure. If you’re rich you can spend the money that fell into your lap better on YOURSELF than the government would after taxing some of it back from you. Duh!
How does that disqualify taxes or government spending on the poor, though?
If the government, acting on behalf of the people, taxed you to redistribute some of the nation’s wealth that we working people created and which massively flowed to you, you would indeed be left with less while prosperity would return to those who have been stiffed by our economy which sucks prosperity away from the majority and lavishly piles it on a parasitic top (and pretty lavishly also on the top 1%‘s minions in the top 10%) as limitless unearned wealth.
And is that such a bad thing? Are we to be proud of millions of homeless Americans (many of whom DO work paid jobs) and tens of thousands dying each year from lack of healthcare? Have the well-to-do shown any signs of voluntarily spending their disposable surplus to any meaningful extent to fix these awful problems?
What’s that quiet sound I am hearing? Crickets chirping? Yeah that’s right. We have a charity industry that provides the wealthy with a fig leaf, pretending to be empathetic and morally upstanding through the use of small donations that are mere pennies on their stolen dollars.
Sorry. Throughout history, ever since human societies stopped being egalitarian (in the last blink of human existence, the one we know as written history), private charity hasn’t done much for the victims of gross systemic inequality. That’s why the disenfranchised rose up in armed revolutions and attempted to install fairer forms of government and fairer economic systems. They have only been partially successful and seen a lot of roll-backs. So, pardon me when I argue to keep pushing for what’s right.
A well-to-do person complaining about having to pay taxes so that the jointly produced national prosperity can reach everyone can hardly be justified with the “I would spend better than the government” argument when private charities are mere fig leaves and minor band aids. In fact, a rich person complaining about taxes resembles a thief complaining about the laws against theft.
What’s amazing is that this mantra from the thieving top has caught hold in the minds of many who are not at the top themselves, thanks to the propaganda brainwash instituted from the top through “think tanks” and the corporate media, and with the help of bought politicians (from both major parties) who shifted the tax burden from the top to the middle and bottom. Proper taxation would target only the top, in order to eliminate gross inequity, the wrongful “ownership” of most of the world by a small handful of billionaires, and the Big Money in politics which flows from that source. Likewise, proper welfare would benefit everybody in an evenhanded and supportive manner, not just a chosen few having to jump through a lot of hoops in a bureaucratic and often warped qualification process that often denies the truly needy or traps them in poverty thereby forming a group perfectly suited for smearing as “welfare queens” in order to divide the people against each other.
A properly organized society would provide a financial safety floor that no-one can fall below and a cap for income and wealth that would prevent the rise of a money aristocracy. It would leave plenty of room in between for variation and merit for those who obsess about material wealth. It would shift the focus of work from profiteering at all costs to making valuable contributions to society — preventing or curing disease, increasing everyone’s comfort, growing our scientific understanding, expunging the lingering superstitions and myths spread from above, making global trade advantageous to everyone instead of using it to play workers against workers, turning robotics into a blessing for all mankind instead of having it turn the working class into income-less slum dwellers, and so on. And it would shift the nature of work from brutal steep command hierarchies to democratically operating, low-stress, dignified working environments, where people – like our prehistoric ancestors – are working alongside one another in healthy communities that deprive no-one of their necessities and dignity. Doesn’t that look a lot better than what we get from that Ebenezer Scrooge attitude expressed in the headline?
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